YORK City striker Michael Rankine is targeting double figures after scoring his seventh goal of the season at Kettering.
Since making his professional debut for Scunthorpe United in 2004, Rankine’s biggest haul came two years ago when he plundered 14 for Rushden and Diamonds, beating his previous best tally of ten.
The 25-year-old forward ended a 12-game drought, stretching back to November, with the only goal of the game at Rockingham Road after receiving instructions from manager Martin Foyle to shoot on sight.
Now, the 6ft 3in target-man is hungry for more, despite admitting he’s not a natural marksman.
Rankine said: “I have never been prolific – ever. I just like to chip away and work as hard as I can and, hopefully, then you get rewarded with goals.
“My benchmark is ten for the end of the season and anything more than that will be a bonus.”
Rankine was replaced midway through the second half at Kettering, having left three home defenders on their backsides in separate incidents.
The first aerial challenge resulted in a yellow card for the former Doncaster trainee but the striker felt referee Richard Wigglesworth might have been deceived.
Added the 14-and-a-half stone front-man: “I thought he was going to give me a second yellow but some of their players went down a bit softly for me to be honest.
“I thought the booking was soft as well but referees have to do their jobs. It’s just one of those things and that can be the way.
“Sometimes, you go down and it’s not a free-kick but, then, they give one when it happens the other way round.”
Having seen City close the gap on top two Oxford and Stevenage, Rankine also believes automatic promotion is now a realistic target.
He said: “We don’t want to run before we can walk but we have a great squad and every chance of going up. Promotion is up for grabs because we are flying.
“We just have to keep winning, doing our jobs and not worrying about what the other teams are doing. Then fate will take care of things.”
Rankine added that having a defence that has only conceded three goals in ten league matches means he is confident of victory if he or one of his team-mates opens the scoring at the other end of the pitch.
“Our back four have been solid all season and there’s also a great ’keeper behind them,” he pointed out.
“Saturday’s was a game we had to roll up our sleeves for and dig in and it’s the sign of a good team when you can drag out a 1-0 win.”